Network cabling is arguably one of the essential roles of a network engineer. Unfortunately, some new network architects do not give cabling the seriousness it deserves and only treat it as a plug-and-play task. The network cabling strategy often leads to communication problems in the future. Notably, patch lead installation and organisation requires care and attention to detail for reliable performance. This article highlights tips for the proper installation of patch leads.
Go Short With Patch Leads
Network signals are less likely to degrade if you follow a well-executed cabling system and use quality cables. However, signal strength and quality are more likely to fluctuate with longer cables. It is a common problem for networking projects in expansive office floors. The reason is that long patch leads are likely to encounter interference from electrical wires and appliances along the way, affecting signal quality. Therefore, it is advisable to keep patch lead lengths relatively short to prevent signal interference and exposure to obstacles.
Avoid Hanging Cables
Network architects understand that high-quality patch leads are reliable regarding signal quality and strength. Unfortunately, the perception that quality cables are strong may encourage a networking professional to leave them hanging from racks and communication cabinets with no support structure. Since the cables have mass, they begin to stretch due to the shear stress caused by gravity. Consequently, the fibres inside the cables distort, causing a significant drop in signal quality and intermittent connection failure. Therefore, it is essential to support patch leads at their points of connection to avoid stretching. Additionally, watch out for long cable runs that are not adequately supported. It is particularly the case with bundled patch leads, which begin to sag at certain points. Therefore, ensure that bundled cables are supported at short intervals to avoid sagging and hanging.
Keep Away From Power Cables
Neatness is critical when laying network cables. As such, most newbie networkers prefer to run fibre cables as close to office power lines as possible. While it may reduce the number of cables visible in a room, it is counterproductive because patch leads act like transformers when run close to electrical cables. Consequently, it leads to spikes in signal noise along fibre cables caused by electrical currents. Therefore, you must ensure that every patch lead is installed far from electrical cables to avoid signal degradation, affecting business operations since communication is critical.
Contact a network installer near you to learn more.